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Comedy

Patrick Carlyle and Allyn Rachel's Couple Time: A Web Series about Weird Stuff Couples Do When No One is Around

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Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 12:52 PM

click to enlarge Rachel and Carlyle brainstorm the next Couple Time vignette
  • Rachel and Carlyle brainstorm the next Couple Time vignette

There are few Internet series that have me itching for the next installment, checking the Vimeo page for new videos several times a week and squealing with delight when one's posted. But that embarrassing behavior is exactly what I do with Couple Time. Comedians Patrick Carlyle and Allyn Rachel, who have been a real life couple for coming on eight years, write and star in the series of 90-second vignettes that explore, in their words, "weird stuff couples do when no one else is around."

No! Not kinky weird stuff! Silly weird stuff. Things we all do when we feel so close to someone that it's almost like they're part of us. Like singing the full Ally McBeal theme song in the middle of breakfast, or having a serious debate about what percentage of pumpkin carving is scooping, or making up fantastical bribes to convince your partner be the one to crawl out of bed and feed the cat .

These moments might fall flat when described in words, but Rachel and Carlyle bring them to life with such honesty, love, and pitch perfect comedic timing, that each vignette leaves you not only in stitches but also with the odd, poignant feeling that you will now appreciate the small joys of life a little bit more.

"It's fun to discover these little moments and not judge them," Carlyle explains, as to why the couple chose this theme as their first video project together. "A lot of times TV and movies find comedy in the conflict between two people. We're more interested in the comedy of two people working together on an outside conflict".

Rachel and Carlyle met and began dating while attending NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. After college, they moved to Los Angeles together and began taking sketch and improv classes at the Upright Citizens' Brigade comedy theater. Both currently perform on Wednesday nights on UCB sketch teams, Rachel in The Get Go! and Carlyle in Goodman. Rachel also went through the Groundlings training program and was selected to perform a collection of her original characters at the prestigious New Faces: Characters Showcase at the 2011 Just For Laughs festival in Montreal. Though they've been toiling away at the same profession for many years, Couple Time is the couple's first collaboration. That is "except for a few cat videos no one ever saw with weird music," Carlyle clarified.

"More and more as you kick around L.A. you realize that you need to make your own stuff to progress," Carlyle explains. "We wanted to do something simple that we could do on our own. Our first video was the one where I sing the Ally McBeal theme song, which is like so weird. But that's just a thing we do. We sing all the time. Everyone does it. But no one talks about it. And that's when we had the idea".

The couple's positive take on relationships has gotten good feedback so far. "Random people tweet at us and say, 'Oh! I can't wait to see this, but I have to wait a couple hours till I can watch it with my girlfriend," Rachel says. TV networks have also taken notice, leading the team to face the challenge of translating their couple vs. daily life concept into a half-hour TV show format.

click to enlarge Allyn Rachel and Patrick Carlyle carve pumpkins in Couple Time
  • Allyn Rachel and Patrick Carlyle carve pumpkins in Couple Time

In a TV landscape where story lines revolve around couples who fear marriage (ahem, Whitney), freak out about petty differences in pay (oh...Traffic Light) and constantly feel like they aren't appreciated (The Middle, Mike & Molly, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, um..every show ever), Couple Time's couple will have their work cut out for them. Will their relationship make it to your TV screen unscathed by bitchy banter and petty turmoil? We'll have to wait and see.

Till then, fans can enjoy the 90-second-version series on the Couple Time Vimeo Page. "I think we're gonna take them out of the apartment," Carlyle hints. "Yes," Rachel chimes in. "We might even make it to the grocery store."

Stephanie Carrie blogs at Los Angeles Comedy Travel Guide. Follow her on twitter at @StephCarrie and for more arts news follow @LAWeeklyArts.

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